Mozilla reconsiders H.264 support for mobile devices

Posted on Wednesday, Mar 14 2012 @ 12:27 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Mozilla long resisted adoption of H.264 due to the patents involved, but ARS Technica reports the Firefox developed is now planning to adopt the codec in its Boot2Gecko (B2G) mobile operating system, but only for devices where H.264 is supplied by the platform or implemented in the hardware.
But the HTML5 video element has yet to live up to its full potential, because a dispute over video encoding has prevented the standard from being implemented consistently across all Web browsers. Mozilla, which has long resisted adoption of H.264 on ideological grounds, is now preparing to support it on mobile devices where the codec is supplied by the platform or implemented in hardware.

The popular H.264 format is widely viewed as the best technical choice for encoding Internet video, but its underlying compression technologies are covered by a wide range of patents. This has raised the question of whether its appropriate for a standards-based Web technology to rely on a patent-encumbered video format that requires publishers and software implementors to pay licensing fees.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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